The Gamecocks headed down to the “Big Easy” to open up spring break. We had games against the University of Alabama, Houston, and Texas State.
Alabama (SC 13 – ‘Bama 4)
After sitting on a bus for around 11 hours, we were quite enthusiastic about getting the chance to run around when we arrived in New Orleans Friday evening. Departing Columbia at 4 am was brutal to say the least. So a quick start was of the utmost importance because we did not want to dig ourselves a hole like we did last year when Alabama led us 6-4 at the half in Columbia.
Fortunately when the game against the ‘Tide started, there was no sign of bus lag. We jumped out quick and rolled into halftime with a 9-2 lead and never looked back.
Houston (SC 20 – UH 6)
Our game against the Cougars of Houston started off a little slower than we would have liked. After taking two early penalties, we knew we had our backs against the wall. But we killed off both penalties and rallied to end the first quarter with a 7-0 lead.
Just like Friday night against the ‘Tide, everyone was able to see the field and take in playing at Pan American Stadium. The 11:00 am start to the day was a bit tough, bit since the game ended around 12:30 p.m., we were able to see all the bayou had to offer.
Texas State (TSU 15 – SC 4)
After winning our opening two games, we felt like we had built up some momentum before facing then #24 ranked Texas State. It’s hard not to notice a team that put up around 120 goals in their first six games.
Despite how ready we thought we were, it was evident come Sunday afternoon that we were not. There are a million different excuses that could be made, we were tired from losing an hour of sleep due to daylight savings, we spent too much time “site seeing” certain parts of New Orleans late Saturday night, but they are all irrelevant. We got shellacked in the first quarter, digging ourselves a 7-1 hole.
We eventually found some footing in the second quarter, but were unable to get many shots past the TXS keeper who received the game MVP.
Second Half of Break
After our trip to New Orleans, the team had a few days off to relax and enjoy spring break before taking on Minnesota. Some players went skiing, camping, to the beach, and some just went home to get some rest. A few of us were bold enough to make a 10 hour drive down to Marco Island after being on a bus for 11 hours back from NOLA. It wasn’t easy, but it was well worth it. On our way back home we decided to bring out our inner kid and make a stop at Disney World.
Despite Magic Kingdom being an extremely friendly environment, the Buzz Lightyear target shooting ride really brought out the competitiveness in us rather quickly. But at the end of the day, it was a great way to finish off a long and busy trip.
Minnesota: (SC 14 – UM 12)
On the last day of our spring break, we headed west to Atlanta to take on the Golden Gophers of Minnesota at Georgia Tech. After not practicing for a week, we knew we had our work cut out. We scored within the first seven seconds of the game to take an early lead, but then let up several in a row. We were able to settle in and take a 7-6 lead into halftime. The second half was nothing short of back and forth action which made for a great finish. We were able to persevere through the tight game and take an out of conference win back to Columbia.
The Gamecocks will welcome divisional foes NC State and Wake Forest to Columbia this weekend. We saw our ticket to the 2013 SELC playoffs get ripped up in a matter of 24 hours last season after losing to Wake Forest and NC State on our trip to the “Tar Heel” state. After traveling the last four weekends, it will be nice to finally play at home in what is sure to be a great weekend of lacrosse.